It is Saturday and Jesus is dead. Peter ran off and is probably hiding somewhere, not to mention the rest of the disciples. He is probably confused, depressed, and scared. We need to remember that he did not have the benefits that we have today. We are looking back in the past on what we know happened; he has not seen the resurrected Jesus yet. He was waiting for a powerful earthly King that would take and reign over the Romans and the other religious leaders. He may have even argued with the other disciples on who was the greatest and where would they be in Jesus’ government. Now all of that glory from his point of view is gone. His King, His Lord and Master, the Messiah, the Son of God, his friend is now all disappeared in one night. To top it all off, he denied he knew Jesus 3 times. The cross made it final. Nobody crawled off the cross. They were either taken off the cross or left there to rot as an example. Yes, Jesus was dead. This is the reality of the cross for Peter.

But there is more to this cross. This cross is where the most important event in mankind happened. This is the cross where God’s anger which was kindled against mankind was quelled for all that believe in Christ. The ultimate sacrifice was made here, and the ultimate price was paid. There is no sin or amount of sin that was not covered on this cross. This is the cross where evil was entirely and fully defeated. This cross was real to Peter, and it needed to be real to us.

We seem to have the cross everywhere. We hang them on our necks and on our ears as jewelry. Many have tattoos of them on their bodies as art. We place bumper stickers and decals on our cars and windows to show others, and we even have walls in our house with all kinds of colors, shapes and materials to remind us. Yet in all of their beauty and multitude, they are not the cross. Sometimes in all this dilution we seem to minimize what the cross meant. The brutality, torture, and humiliation that the cross was and yet the incredible event that this one cross would entail. That is not to say that we are supposed to worship the cross because we are not. We are to worship Who was on the cross, the One that made that sacrifice for us, Jesus. How real is the cross to you?

There are several responses that one may have to the cross, but there are two we should really hold onto.  

The first response is to surrender your heart to God. If you have never accepted Christ as your Savior and Lord, now is the time. Turn away from your sin and trust Christ Jesus as your Savior and Lord. Do not add anything to the work that was done on the cross by God, for you can add nothing more for your salvation; Jesus paid it all on the cross. Embrace this gift of salvation that God has given you through Jesus. If you are a believer, then you need to continue to move forward trusting in Christ and having the faith that He is your salvation and knowing that when you die you will be with Him for Eternity. Strip away any sin that binds you and move forward on the path that God lays before you.

The second response to the cross is that it should move us to proclaim the gospel to others. Our hope in what was completed on the cross should motivate us to tell all the world who Jesus is, what He did for us on the cross, and how they too can know Jesus. People of the world do not know how special that cross was, how it was the ultimate turning point for all mankind. They do not know how we were all dead in sin before the cross, and how we all can be alive in Christ after the cross. The world does not know, but you do. Tell the world about the significance of the cross.

Peter will soon see a new reality of the cross, but we already know because Jesus drank the Father’s cup, and now we are saved for the work that He did on the cross.
(Matthew 27; John 3:16)


They took down Jesus’ body from the cross. They wrapped it in a clean linen shroud. Joseph laid the body in his own new tomb that was already cut out of the rock. A great stone was rolled in front of the entrance of the tomb and it was sealed (Mat 27:57-60).

The Cup is empty because Jesus drank it all.


It is Friday and everything is happening quickly. Last night, after Jesus and his disciples finished partaking of the Passover meal, they go across the Kidron Valley to the Mount of Olives and a place known as the Garden of Gethsemane. This is where Jesus prayed three different times to the Father. This is also where Judas takes the soldiers and officials to arrest Jesus. Jesus is arrested and taken away. The disciples scatter. He is interrogated by Annas and Caiaphas and finally before the Sanhedrin (Mat.26:47-68; Mar 14:43-65; Luk 22:47-71). Intermixed in all this, recorded by John is the denial of Peter three times (John 18:12-27) and Judas, feeling remorse, tried to return the silver coins for turning Jesus in to the officials (Mat 27:3-10). Judas later went away and hanged himself. Finally, Jesus is placed before Pilate (Mat 27:1-2, 11-14; Mar 15:1-5; Luke 23:1-6; John 18:12-28) and then Herod (Luke 23:7-12) and then back to Pilate (Mat 27:15-26). Pilate, still wanting to release Jesus because he finds no fault in Jesus, and not able to please the crowd, washes his hands of the situation and turns Jesus over to be crucified.  

Jesus cries out from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?” Jesus, for the moment, was separated from the Father. He had always had His presence with Jesus, but now moved away so that Jesus could be the sacrifice for our reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us, “He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” This was not a cry of unbelief, doubt or confusion; it was one of loneliness and distance from the Father. Jesus knew everything that was to happen. He even tells us in Matthew 17:22-23 and Mark 9:31 about what was to happen later. What He foretold is happening now. He knew the Father’s plan and had confidence it would be exactly as the Father planned, but for the moment He is experiencing the feeling of abandonment.  

Have you ever felt like that? Have you felt like God has left you and you, now, just stand alone? But yet God did not leave us; we have left Him. We have turned to other things in our lives, things of the world and, all of a sudden, we realize we have stopped following God. God is always nearby. In Philippians, we read, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is nearby. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4-7). Jesus had to separate from the Father to become our reconciliation to the Father, but you do not need to feel separated from Him. Turn from the things of the world and turn back to Him. Pray for His presence to be felt by you, and let His peace come upon you.  

It is Friday, and Jesus drank from the cup that was intended for us.

PRAYER THOUGHTS: Thank Jesus for His obedience in following through with the plan of reconciliation to God for you.


The leaders are in an uproar after the teachings of Jesus on Tuesday (Mt.21:42-44; Mk 12:12; Lk 10:19), and the plans are in place to crucify Jesus (Mt. 26:1-5; Mk 14:10-11), Jerusalem and the surrounding area is shut down because of Passover and people are at their homes to observe the Passover meal with their families.  For Passover (Ex. 12), the Israelites were instructed to slaughter a spotless lamb and for each home, put its blood above their doorposts. When God came in judgment on the homes of the Israelites and the Egyptians, He put to death the firstborn son in any home that did not have blood over the doorpost. God provided the blood of a lamb, a substitute sacrifice, to save His people from the payment of sin. God’s people would celebrate this meal every year. The Israelites would gather in their homes and remember the original Passover night in Egypt.

Jesus is in what will later be called the Upper room with His disciples. In the middle of the excitement and commotion in the city, there is a pause to spend time together in fellowship, eating the Passover Feast, and to have some more teaching of things to come, the kingdom to come. The disciples start to discuss among themselves who is the greatest yet again. Maybe trying to set up a pecking order in Jesus’ new government that was coming that they truly did not understand yet. Jesus takes off is outer garment and begins to teach on how to truly be the greatest in the Kingdom of God. He wrapped a towel around His waist and began to wash the disciples' feet (Jn 13:1-17). To be the greatest you had to be the servant, not powerful, not in positions of stature, but He wants them and us to be humble and in service to others. Then Jesus talks about the ultimate service for others in partaking of the Lord’s Supper.

Jesus tells the disciples; this bread represents the body which is broken for you (Mt. 26:26). Then, Jesus refers to the cup in the Last Supper as signifying “My blood,” which is shed for the forgiveness of sins (26:28).  He is the Passover lamb of Exodus 12, and He saves us with His blood. When God’s wrath and judgment come, we hide under the blood of a substitute sacrifice, Jesus the Lamb of God, and we are saved. He is the firstborn of God and will die in the wrath. The account of the Last Supper connects Jesus’ death with the law God gave to His people. He was teaching this to His disciples. The covenant keeper (Exodus 24:8), who seals us with His blood, is Jesus. He refers to “My blood that establishes the covenant” in Matthew 26:28. This is the only time the word “covenant” appears in Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus is pointing to Exodus 24, on Mount Sinai, when the law and covenant that God had given His people was confirmed. In Exodus 24:8 Moses sprinkled the blood of the sacrifice on the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you concerning all these words.” This was a picture not only of God’s forgiveness, but also of His binding of the people to Himself in relationship. Likewise, the two-fold process, forgiveness of sin and to enter a relationship with Him, Jesus now fulfills for us today with the covenant.

There is now a new covenant to restore God’s people to Him.

It is Thursday and the cup Jesus passes to His disciples in the Last Supper is not the cup He holds, but the one that will be poured out on our behalf is The Cup.

PRAYER THOUGHTS: Thank God for the new covenant that you now share with Him, not because of anything you did, but because of what Christ did. This week, remember the sacrifice that was made for you because of His love for you. Prepare your hearts for the rest of this week in God’s Word to be ready to come together and worship with your church family. Spend time in prayer with friends and family, praising God and seeking Him, and His direction for you.


Nothing is written about what happened with Jesus on this day in the Gospels. Perhaps it was one of the times He retreated to a place to teach his disciples about everything that was brought up on Tuesday. There were so many things that were written on Tuesday of the Passion week in the Gospels of the Bible (see below for a list for further study). Maybe Jesus took more time with His disciples to talk about the signs of the things to come, we read in Matthew 24. The disciples came to Him on the Mount of Olives to ask Him what He meant about the destruction of the temple.

Christ had come and was among us and was sitting there on the mount with Peter, James, John and Andrew. Fully God and fully man with all the authority of God and starts to talk about the things to come. Beyond His death and resurrection, which happened, beyond the temple destruction, which happened, to a time of destruction, tribulation, deception, temptations and persecution before He will return. The more we live in this world as believers as the world seems to reveal the realities of what is spoke of in Matthew 24, the more we anticipate Jesus’ return.

Jesus teaches that there will be no doubt that His return will be evident to all. As lighting comes from the East and Shines as far as the West, so His appearance would be (v.27). The trumpets of angels will blast, and every eye will behold the Son of Man in the sky (v. 29-31). What a sharp contrast from His first coming as a baby in a manger, in the remote town of Bethlehem, 5 miles outside of Jerusalem, mostly unnoticed except from some shepherds that the angels delivered a personal birth announcement to in the fields. The first time lying in a manger; the second time riding in the clouds. From Daniel 7:13-14, “And I saw One like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was escorted before Him. He was given authority to rule, and glory, and a kingdom; so that those of every people, nation, and language should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will not be destroyed.”

Just as He came the first time to provide our salvation, He will come the second time in all His glory to execute judgement.
In Matthew 24:30 Jesus says, “the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” That day will be a day of judgement. All who are not ready for that day, that is, those who have refused to turn from their sin and to trust in Christ as Savior and King, will come face to face with the Holy One whom they refused to accept as their Savior and Lord. What if that happened today? Would you be ready? If not, then repent and believe in Christ today. If you are a believer and follower of Christ, are there things you still need to repent of, sins that you have allowed to linger? Let go of these things today. Are there people that the Lord has put on your heart to witness to, and you have not talked to them about the Gospel of Christ and where your hope comes from? Go and talk to them today. By the end of this week, 2000 years ago, the things prophesized in the Old Testament and taught by Jesus before His death and resurrection will come true and be complete. So, we also know and anticipate His second coming because it is also true. Stay strong, endure the course, and continue to do God’s will as we anticipate together His return.

It is Wednesday and Jesus is coming back to take us with Him because He held the cup.

PRAYER THOUGHTS: If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, then repent and believe in Christ today. Pray for Him to come into your heart today. Have faith that He is the Son of God, died on the cross for your sins, on the third day rose again and is now the Lord of your life. If you know Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, then ask the Holy Spirit to search you and confess what you have not completely given to Him. Those sins that you are still using as a crutch to get through life. Give them all to Him and depend on Him to get you through each and every day. Pray for the one that you need to witness to and share the Gospel. Pray that God will open up your thoughts to others around you today, that you will meet those who need the Lord in their lives. Pray that those doors will be opened to you to share your faith. Pray for that the Holy Spirit will lead those conversations. Thank God for His perfect plan through His Son and praise Him for the sacrifice He made for you.

The events of Tuesday for further study include:
The Fig Tree Withered Away (Matthew 21:20-22 ; Mark 11:20-25)
Christ’s Authority Challenged (Matthew 2 1:23-27; Mark 11:27-33 ; Luke 20:1-8)
Three Parables of Warning (Matthew 21:23-27 ; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19)
Three Questions by the Jewish Rulers (Matthew 22:15-40 ; Mark 12:13-34; Luke 20:20-40)
Christ’s Unanswerable Question (Matthew 22:41-46 ; Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44)
Woes Against the Scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23; Mark 12:38-40; Luke 20:45-47)
Gentiles Seeking Jesus (John 12:20-36)
Woes Against the Scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23; Mark 12:38-40 ; Luke 20:45-47)
The Widow’s Mites (Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4 ; John 12:20-36)
The Jews’ Rejection of Christ (John 12:37-50)
Discourse Concerning the Destruction of Jerusalem and the End of the world (Matthew 24-26:2; Mark 13; Luke 21:5-38)
Conspiracy Between the Chief Priests and Judas (Matthew 26:1-5; 14-26; Mark 14:1-2; 10-11; Luke 22:1-6 )


It is Tuesday and Jesus is confronted by the religious leaders to start the day. He, by use of parables, tells the leaders that they have always rejected God’s messengers, the prophets, and now they are rejecting the Son of God as well. Even Jewish factions that are usually in odds with each other are now teaming together to trap Jesus and arrest Him and get Him out of sight of the crowds, which just keep multiplying. I guess what the saying of the Jewish leaders of the time is true, “the enemy of my enemy is my ally.”

After all that is asked and answered by Jesus on Tuesday and what He taught, Jesus showed just how much those in powers were truly rejecting Him. The religious leaders were the experts in scripture and should have realized Jesus was the Messiah because He fulfilled everything that scripture said the Messiah be and do. But then this question was posed to Jesus, “What is the greatest of all the commandments (Mark 12:28-34; Luke 20:39-40; Matt. 22:34-40)?” And Jesus responded that the most important command is to love God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength and then to love others as you do yourself.

Was this the answer they expected? They ask, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus flips it over and shows them to whom they should be a neighbor. Jesus goes to the last people that the Jewish leaders want to be providing neighborly love, a Samaritan. You see, it is all about limitations and rules for the religious. How well do I keep the commandments? How many times should I forgive someone? Who is my neighbor? Jesus goes to the other side of the problem, where there is no limit to showing the love of God. Forgive a person seven times seventy times. In other words, there is no limit to forgiving them. Everyone should be a neighbor you love, not just people you already like. To show God size love, you must go all the way to the other side of your restraints, just as Jesus went all the way to show God’s love for us. He is going to go all the way to the cross for us.

The religious leaders are trying to get rid of Jesus and yet Jesus goes to the cross for them too because that is what it means to love the Lord your God, with all your heart and all your soul, all your mind and all your strength and to love your neighbor as yourself.

It is Tuesday and Jesus still has the cup because God loves us.

PRAYER THOUGHTS: Are you doing the minimal required Christian things in your life? Are you only showing God’s love to those who love you? Ask God to help you go above and beyond these restraints in your life. Ask God to help you love Him with everything you have, not just a minimal amount that we considered to be enough.  Ask God to help you love others with His love so that Christ can be seen in you. What a wonderful way to remember Jesus during the week headed into the crucifixion and resurrection, by loving others as Jesus loves us.


Monday morning and Jesus is up early to leave Bethany and head back down the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem, where He will cleanse the Temple area of all the money changers.  On the way down to the valley, He sees a fig tree that is full of leaves, and He decides to have fruit from the fig tree, but there is none. Jesus then curses the tree (Matt. 21:18–22; Mark 11:12–14, 20–25). We may think this was a harsh thing for Jesus to do. Jesus defends the children, heals the sick, calms the storm, brings the dead to life, and brings hope to those who believe He is the Messiah, but what was the deal with the tree? The tree was pretending to have fruits because when fig trees have leaves, they would have the early fruits, or the first fruits, which would still have been nutritional for Jesus’ hunger. This tree had all the leaves, but no fruit; what good is it (Mark 11:13)?
What should we learn from this strange happening?
On the surface, this is an object lesson on faith (Matt. 21:20–22). But more is happening in this scene. The fig tree cursing, an enacted parable of sorts, is also a sober warning for us today.
First, no fruit leads to judgment.
Throughout the Old Testament, Israel is described as God’s vineyard, tree, or planting (Judges 9:8–15; 5:1–7; Jer. 12:10; Ezek. 17:2–10; 19:10–14). The first fruits of the harvest belong to God (Ex. 23:19; Neh. 10:35–37), which helps conceptualize their relationship to God; as his own special planting, they must yield spiritual fruit as his covenant people (Ps. 1:3; Jer. 17:8–10). Israel’s fruitfulness (literal or otherwise) is not the basis of their relationship with God, for it is God who gives fruitfulness (Deut. 7:13; 28:4). A lack of fruitfulness is a sign of God’s curse for their rebellion (Deut. 11:17).
The prophets of the Old Testament describe the spiritual health of God’s people as the search for “early figs.” This is the sign of spiritual fruitfulness (Mic. 7:1; Jer. 8:13; Hos. 9:10–17). God finds “no first-ripe fig that He desires.” Then after that judgment comes the two exiles (Assyrian and Babylonian). God pours out the curse of barrenness (Hos. 9:16), and Israel becomes the rotten fig (Jer. 29:17).
Yet God promises to one day replant Israel and produce healthy figs from her again (Joel 2:22; Amos 9:14; Mic. 4:4; Zech. 8:12; Ezek. 36:8).
When the Romans left Israel, they took the grape vines and other producing vines and trees to grow in their home country and left Israel a land baron, a dessert. If you go to Israel today and walk through the land, you expect just desert, but it is not. There is incredible agriculture again. Rows and rows of palm dates, grape vines, bananas, pistachio trees, and yes, fig trees. It took hard work, even to the point of using huge augers to drill holes in the ground that was as hard as rock to plant these crops because it had not been worked in so long. Israel is producing figs again. It takes work to restore. Just like today in our own world, it will take hard work for our country, our churches, our lives to start producing spiritual fruit in us and those around us. Israel’s fruit will now be harvested; blessing will now pour forth. Will blessings pour out from the world around you?
Second, going back to the pretending fig tree, the leaves made the tree look like it was fruitful, but it was not. In the same way in the temple where the money changers and the rituals were going on, which looked very busy and productive, Jesus saw that it was not. The money changers were busy producing for themselves, and the religious leaders were not fruitful because they did not have the heart for God. They all showed leaves, but no fruit.  God’s people are called to produce spiritual fruit (Matt. 3:8–10; 7:16–20; 13:8; Luke 3:7–9).
So think about your own figs, your own Spiritual fruits. Are we busy, producing Christian leaves, but not producing fruit?

The cursing of the fig tree is not just about historical Israel. It’s about us. It’s about all the people of God throughout time. The Old Testament expectation that God’s covenant people bear fruit did not wither on that road between Bethany and Jerusalem on the week that Jesus was headed to the cross.
It’s Monday and Jesus is holding the cup.

PRAYER THOUGHTS: Ask God to search you and see if you are pretending. Are you just going through the motions, checking things off your Christian checklist, but producing no fruits? Ask God to help you, through the Holy Spirit, to produce Spiritual fruits: a heart for God; spreading His love to others; reaching them for Christ; and discipling them to the point they disciple others. It will be hard work, but it is worth it.


Late in March, the time had come for Jesus to be delivered. The Feast of the Passover was near. This was the most important Jewish feast that the people celebrated during the time of Jesus. What an appropriate feast to be celebrating on the last week before Jesus was to be crucified. Passover began with the Feast of unleavened bread and lasted for seven days. This was the time to remember God rescuing the Israelites from Egypt, the Exodus. On the first Passover, a lamb was slain and the blood of that lamb was used to cover the door posts of all the houses of those who believed and had faith in what God promised. God spared those who placed the lamb’s blood on their door posts. It was an incredible foretelling of the Lamb, Jesus, who would be slain for everyone who believes and has faith in God’s plan for salvation. Jesus is our lamb who was slain on our behalf. Sunday, Jesus riding a young donkey, came down through the Mount of Olives and entered the city triumphantly with people laying down palm branches, shouting ‘Hosanna’ and celebrating.  And so it begins …
READ: John 12:12-19; Matthew 21:1-10
PRAYER THOUGHTS: Is Jesus the King of your life? If so, you are a child of God. Thank God for that. Jesus made a triumphful entry into Jerusalem, but the true triumph was His obedience to the Father. This was fulfilling the plan that God set in place for reconciliation of people to Him. Thank God for the triumph in Jesus and that you now have a triumphant entry into that reconciliation with God through what Jesus did and your faith in Jesus.